Priest seeks ‘independent medical assessment’ for Arroyo

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MANILA, Oct. 17, 2012—The government should let former President Gloria Arroyo undergo an “independent medical assessment” to erase doubts about her real health condition, a Catholic priest said.

Fr. Marlon Lacal, executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Men in the Philippines, said it is high time to have an independent medical team to examine Arroyo’s condition.

“I think there’s really a need for an independent medical team to assist her situation,” Lacal said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

The priest made the statement Wednesday as the Sandiganbayan granted hospital arrest of Arroyo, now  Pampanga representative, who has a pending plunder case.

Arroyo was rushed to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center last Oct. 4, same day when she was ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan. She was diagnosed to be suffering from hypertension and dehydration.

The arrest warrant was just issued on the former president while she was confined at the VMMC.

Arroyo’s plunder case stemmed from charges that she allowed, when she was president, the diversion of over P300 million belonging to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for “personal gain”.

Last Monday, Arroyo failed to attend her arraignment for plunder case after reportedly showing signs of ischemia, a heart disease.

Fr. Lacal said that if proven that the former president has a critical health condition, the government should let her stay in the hospital for humanitarian reason.

“If it’s true, I think from the humanitarian point of view the former president also needs consideration,” the priest said.

“But in order to be just and fair and to erase doubts of the public, she needs to submit herself to for an independent medical assessment,” added Lacal. {RL/CBCPNews]

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